Contracts play a significant role in regulating relationships between parties, often defining the terms and conditions and consequences of not upholding them. Lawyers, whether in-house or outside counsel, are critical to managing contracts and may often find themselves taking on several roles throughout the contract lifecycle. Responsibilities can include drafting an agreement, negotiating its terms, finalizing it, monitoring its performance, helping with termination, and addressing potential breaches or other issues impeding performance.
The five stages of contract management
A well-defined contract management process can help lawyers meet the expectations of clients, management, and organizational governing bodies to deliver greater value, efficiency, transparency, and cost reduction in legal services throughout the lifecycle of a contract. While the contract lifecycle of your practice or legal department may differ, most cover these five stages:
- Due diligence
How you approach these five contract management stages requires careful consideration of your operations, resources, and requirements. These factors should form the steps you’ll take to navigate each stage of your contract management process. The steps and, in turn, your process should enable a continuous approach to contract management.
The checklist below outlines the recommended steps to help you design an effective contract management process.
[Download our Contract Management Playbook for a template of the sample checklist below, plus more contract management essentials.]